I Support Modified Quarantine, with Expanded Student Testing
There has been a lot of chatter among families about SFUSD adopting a plan for Modified Quarantine, I agree we should be looking at implementing this, but ONLY with expanded testing availability. Otherwise, we will be expanding the opportunity gap. I’m getting a lot of autogenerated emails and want to be transparent and keep folks in the loop. Unfortunately, board and staff leadership often tend to respond in a knee-jerk fashion to these emails in favor of reaching out to families who are most in need and may not attend board meetings or who are not in English-only parent email groups.
President Lopez and I are committed to centering the voices of families that are most impacted by COVID and want you to know that their voice matters. Please do what you can to amplify the needs of your community (and tag me on social) so we can ensure that each and every family is heard, and no one’s voice is overlooked.
I support Modified Quarantine 100%, with Testing
In order to make this happen, we will need expanded access to student testing. BerkeleyUSD, WCCUSD and LAUSD all offer weekly testing for students. If we want to implement modified quarantine district-wide, we will need to figure out how to do this as well.
I recently learned that CA offers no-cost testing to all school districts and nearly 700 districts are participating. The Board has not discussed this and the public is not informed. I went to the following link and filled it out to get more information (the CDPH K-12 School-Based COVID-19 Testing Strategies Form at: https://testing.covid19.ca.gov/school-testing/.) I will continue to advocate for weekly testing and am asking the Superintendent to follow up. Please continue to make your voice heard on this important issue.
Modified quarantine requires students to “get tested for COVID-19 2x a week.” A parent told me last week she had to take the MUNI across town to get a COVID test so her child could return to school due to a close contact. The current program clearly privileges families who have resources (insurance, transportation) vs. those who are struggling right now. If we implement modified quarantine without a plan for expanded testing access, we will be excluding a huge number of families in our district and will widen the opportunity gap.
What central office staff is saying:
I reached out to the Cheif of the Student Family Community Support Division (SFCSD) to get more clarity. She says:
“We do not have the resources to set up the operating system to implement a modified quarantine given all of the requirements for a student to be on a modified quarantine. We announced this at family town halls as well.
– If the close contact happened at school, and both your child and the infected person were wearing masks the whole time, your child can attend school in-person during their quarantine.
– They can ride a school bus or take public transportation to and from school. Your child must:
– Continue to wear a face mask in school and Get tested for COVID-19 twice a week, and
– Remain free of any COVID-19 symptoms during this time
– Your child must stay at home except to go to school.
– They cannot leave home for activities outside of school.
– They cannot play wind instruments or do extracurricular activities at school, including school sports, during their modified quarantine”— Cheif Mele Lau-Smith
Support the Road to COVID Recovery Resolution
Please support my resolution to ensure our schools stay open and students continue to have access to quality learning experiences. It calls on district staff to share testing and online learning plans so parents, school board, and city leaders can support expanded access to testing and implements to online learning. The plan also includes support for outdoor lunches/learning and a clear ventilation plan to track our recent investment of $3 Mil in air purifiers.
For more information about the Roadmap to COVID Recovery Resolution, I recently posted an article on Medium. (I’ve created a set of summary slides in English, Spanish and Chinese.) In the meantime, I am sharing resources and updates on my social media feeds. Please follow to read (and share!) information about this issue with other families.